The Roof Top Art Park debuted in 2003 at the Minnesota Children’s Museum. Do you remember when exactly? I do — I was there with son number one.
He said, “I’m up top, Mama! Come up! Come up!”
“No can do,” I thought peering down at my round midsection — at 9 months pregnant I was impressed that I even visited the museum.
Son number two arrived that night, which is why I know exactly when the Rooftop Art Park opened. This playful visit is just one in a long series that illustrates the Minnesota Children’s Museum role in my family’s upbringing. Like many Minnesota families, I can chart my children’s growth by their mastery of skills such as blowing bubbles, shopping a grocery store, or making kimchi in the Our World Gallery.
Playing at the Minnesota Children’s Museum meant more playing at home. The open-ended play in the galleries sparked the same kind of creativity in my dining room.
I’m just really glad I invested in a waterproof table-cloth…
Why Play is Important
Play fosters creativity. I teach an MBA class at St. Catherine University in creativity and innovation because business requires creative thinking to solve problems like water scarcity or food spoilage. See my #MBA6410 tweets to see what goes on in that class. I’ll give you a hint: we play, experiment, and test ideas.
A business whose only ambition is to continue doing tomorrow what they did yesterday, will wither as both its competitors and customers change around it. The central role of creativity in business survival was recognized in an IBM survey of more than 1,500 chief executive officers from 60 countries. They reported that – more than rigor, management discipline, or even vision – successfully navigating an increasing complex world will require creativity.
What Is Creativity’s Value–In Marketing, In Business? Forbes, 10/04/2010
Taking Play a Step Further
Championing the role of play and creativity in business brings me a new adventure. I’m still encouraging play, but today it’s from a new perspective as the director of content and communications at the Minnesota Children’s Museum.
Creativity: Thinking of alternative ways to do something, or altering a step to change the result, displays a child’s ability to be innovative-the wave of the future. New ideas, tomorrow’s inventions, the next, big innovative thing is often sparked by an unusual and creative idea.
Play and the 7 Cs. Minnesota Children’s Museum MCM.org
In my new role, I direct the content and communication strategies of the museum as we truly engage with families in their online spaces and, of course, throughout the museum.
Today’s Children are Tomorrow’s Leaders
Help me support the power of play by visiting the museum and donating to fund our amazing expansion.
Looking ahead to the next 30 years, and what living, working and contributing in the 21st century requires, we determined that constructing and developing the proficiencies and skills your child will call upon and use daily to succeed in school and in life would be our focus. There are seven proficiencies which is not a fun name so after a raise of hands we chose to call them “The 7C’s.”
These seven “tools” are consistently viewed as crucial and necessary for success in the 21st century by researchers and Fortune 500 company executives. And amazingly so, these tools begin to surface in early childhood and are first developed through play!
Play and the 7 Cs. Minnesota Children’s Museum